LETTING GO OF OFFENSES
Have you ever heard of the way that they catch monkey’s in the jungle? From what I have heard, they set out monkey traps and in those traps, they place a food (such as a bananas). In the top of the trap is a slit smaller that the size of the banana. The monkey reaches in to get the banana and it grasps the banana. When the monkey can’t figure out how to get the banana out of the slit (since it was big enough for its hand but too small for the banana), it just sits there on the jungle floor, hand in the trap grasping the banana. The Monkey won’t let go of that banana!. The hunter then comes and picks up the monkey, easy catch.
And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “Only in his hometown and in his own house is a prophet without honor.” And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith. Matt 13:57-58
When a person takes offense, they render themselves spiritually helpless, and if you hold on to that offense chances are you can end up just like that monkey. A sitting duck for the unfortunateness of life to just happen to you. Offense takes away our covering, and leaves us exposed and open to attack. The scripture in Matthew specifically says that Jesus was unable to do many miracles in his own hometown, due to the offenses that the people that he was closest to had taken. They even said, “Who is this, but Joseph’s son??!” Perhaps you feel like that, perhaps you feel like you could add so much value to your family, and yet the spirit of offense has weeded itself into your family and your loved ones to the point you feel like you can add no value at all! What then?!
THE BEST WAY TO AVOID OFFENSE IS TO HAVE A GREAT DEFENSE
If there is offense in your family, and you have attempted to ask for forgiveness and it just isn’t happening, recognize first that even Christ had to go through dealing with offense. Secondly, if you can begin to see how Christ overcame offense, you will begin to see that the best kind of offense against the offended is to have a strong defense against future offense. The best defense against future offense is found only through submission and servanthood. We submit to the Lord, and we serve our fellow man, regardless. Submission is best described as a bit in a horses mouth. When we allow the Lord to direct us and become our bit, we can be used to our full potential. If your bit in your mouth is the spirit of offense, you will be driven into the ground by a heavy burden and a hardened yoke.
You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. Gal 5:13
THE ROOT OF OFFENSE IS SELF-GLORIFICATION
When we take offense, it puts us in the position to make the world and all of its happenings, all about us. “Did you see what just happened?” Isn’t a plea for justice, it is a statement that should be correctly said as, “Did you see what just happened… to me!” Many times when we take offense, it is because we are tired and overly emotional, and desiring attention. We haven’t felt loved in a very long time, and so we begin to start searching out for people to offend us, so that we can prove to others that an injustice has been made. Our personal injustice then becomes our new identity, and we end up crippling ourselves, simply because we let someone offend us and we could have just chosen to just let it go!
DROP THE BANANA
The call today is to look within yourself, and find all of the “injustices, offenses, and bitterness” that you may be carrying. Some people have become two fisted in their monkey traps! It is time to let those things go, so that you can be open to God and His miraculous powers. God does not respond to petty, irritated, self-glorified people. He responds to those who will submit to Him and choose to serve Him by serving others. God is love. God works in the area of love, Jesus was love personified, and you can find him in the Gospel washing the feet of His disciples as soon as they were in discord. He did not engage ever in offense. He served constantly the people, He took away their ability to take offense at Him because of His service. What He said came across as offensive to those who chose to be offended by Him. However in that same group of people some did heard Him, and took no offense, and they repented and became His followers! Christ’s actions were never offensive, He spoke the truth, and while the truth can be found offensive, Christ left it into the hands of the people to decide for themselves… where they going to choose to be offended, or to be uplifted?!
A prayer for today,
Father God encourage Your people. All of us at some point have taken offense. It is our desire however to let these offenses go. Our spouses, friends, brother, mother, sister, father, cousin… whoever it may be, forgive us for taking offense. We desire for Your miraculous powers to be in effect in our lives, and we give over to You all of our offenses so that we can MOVE ON. Take these offenses away from us Father. Forgive those who have persecuted us, forgive us for making our identities out of offenses. I choose from this day forward Lord to serve, speak the truth, and let go of offenses. You are ALL the identity I need, and living in the shadow of Your Glory as my covering, is enough for me! Father God, bless those and forgive me for offending others in the past Lord, and bless those who I have chosen to let offended me. Thank you for your freedom! In Your Son Jesus’ name, AMEN!
May God Bless you as you enter into His rest and are encouraged in your service!
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